About 200 activists from various Dalit and social organisations in Baramati took out a “silent march” on Thursday in support of Sachin Mali and Sheetal Sathe, an artiste-couple of the Pune-based cultural group Kabir Kala Manch (KKM), who were arrested by the state Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) for their alleged links with the banned Communist Party of India (CPI-Maoists).
Activists, gathered under the banner “Shahir Sachin Mali Muktata Kruti Samiti, Baramati”, demanded the release of Sachin, now in Arthur Road prison. Sheetal is out on bail and seeking support through “Shahiri jalsa”, a music programme, with social and revolutionary songs and poetry. The morcha started from the Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Smarak and concluded at the new administrative building in the presence of retired High Court Justice B G Kolse Patil.
In his speech, Kolse Patil appealed to the activists to prepare for “jail bharo” agitation, demanding the release of Sachin. “Sachin and Sheetal have been falsely arrested. It is a conspiracy to brand Dalit artistes as Naxals,” he said.